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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  17 Jul 2020

17 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Monitoring Sudden Stratospheric Warmings using radio occultation: a new approach demonstrated based on the 2009 event

Ying Li1, Gottfried Kirchengast2, Marc Schwärz2, Florian Ladstädter2, and Yunbin Yuan1 Ying Li et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics, Innovation Academy for Precision Measurement Science and Technology (APM), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430071, China
  • 2Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change (WEGC) and Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Meteorology/Institute of Physics, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria

Abstract. We introduce a new method to detect and monitor Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio Occultation (RO) data at high northern latitudes and demonstrate it for the well-known Jan–Feb 2009 event. We first construct RO temperature, density, and bending angle anomaly profiles and estimate vertical-mean anomalies in selected altitude layers. These mean anomalies are then averaged into a daily-updated 5° latitude × 20° longitude grid over 50° N–90° N. Based on the gridded mean anomalies, we employ the concept of Threshold Exceedance Areas (TEAs), the geographic areas wherein the anomalies exceed predefined threshold values such as 40 K or 40 %. We estimate five basic TEAs for selected altitude layers and thresholds and use them to derive primary-, secondary-, and trailing-phase TEA metrics to detect SSWs and to monitor in particular their main-phase (primary- plus secondary-phase) evolution on a daily basis. As an initial setting, the main-phase requires daily TEAs to exceed 3 Mio. km2, based on which main-phase duration, area, and overall event strength are recorded. Using the Jan–Feb 2009 SSW event for demonstration, and employing RO data plus cross-evaluation data from analysis fields of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), we find the new approach of strong potential for detecting and monitoring SSW events. The TEA metrics show a strong SSW emerging on Jan 17, reaching a maximum on Jan 23, and the strong primary-phase temperature anomaly fading by Jan 27. On Jan 22–23 a MSTA-TEA40 value (TEA of middle stratosphere temperature anomaly > 40 K) of about 9 Mio. km2 was reached. The geographic tracking of the SSW showed that it was centered over East Greenland, covering Greenland entirely and extending from Western Norway to Eastern Canada. The secondary- and trailing-phase metrics track the further SSW development, where the thermodynamic anomaly propagated downward and was fading with a transient upper stratospheric cooling, spanning until end February and beyond. Given the encouraging demonstration results, we expect the method very suitable for long-term monitoring of how SSW characteristics evolve under climate change and variability using both RO and reanalysis data.

Ying Li et al.

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Ying Li et al.

Ying Li et al.

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Short summary
We introduce a new method to detect and monitor Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio Occultation (RO) data at high northern latitudes and demonstrate it for the well-known Jan–Feb 2009 event. We found that RO data are capable for SSW monitoring. Based on our method, a SSW event can be detected and tracked, the duration and the strength of the event can be recorded. The results are consistent with other researches on this 2009 event.
We introduce a new method to detect and monitor Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events using...
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